Residence U.S. Institution Stanford University Role Educator | Name Jo Boaler Nationality British Doctoral advisor Paul Black | |

Institutions Stanford University
Youcubed (founder) Alma mater King's College London, University of Liverpool Fields Mathematics education, Technology Books What's Math Got to Do with It?, The Elephant in the Class, Connecting Mathematical Ideas: Mi, Experiencing School Mathematics |

## Jo boaler on the good and bad of mathematics education

**Jo Boaler** is a British education author and is Professor of Mathematics Education at the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Boaler is involved in promoting mathematics education reform and equitable mathematics classrooms. She is the co-founder of Youcubed, a Stanford center that provides mathematics education resources to teachers, students and parents. She is the author of eight books, including *Mathematical Mindsets* (2016), *What’s Math Got To Do With It?* (2009) and *The Elephant in the Classroom* (2010), all written for teachers and parents with the goal of improving mathematics education in both the US and UK. Her 1997/2002 book, *Experiencing School Mathematics,* won the "Outstanding Book of the Year" award for education in Britain.

## Contents

- Jo boaler on the good and bad of mathematics education
- Jo boaler on mathematics education and the common core state standards
- Academic career
- Research
- Controversy
- Awards and honors
- Publications
- References

## Jo boaler on mathematics education and the common core state standards

## Academic career

Jo Boaler began her career as a secondary mathematics teacher in urban London secondary schools, including Haverstock School, Camden. After her early career in secondary mathematics education, Boaler received a Master's degree in Mathematics Education from King's College London with distinction in 1991. She completed her PhD in mathematics education at the same university and won the award for best PhD in education from the British Educational Research Association in 1997. In 1998, Jo Boaler became an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford University in the Graduate School of Education. She gained tenure in 2001 and became a full professor there in 2006. From 2000 to 2004, Boaler served as the president of the International Organization of Women and Mathematics Education. In January 2007, she was awarded the Marie Curie Foundation Chair of Excellence at Sussex University. After three years in this post, in 2010 she returned to Stanford and resumed her position as Professor of Mathematics Education. In 2013, Boaler taught the first Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) on mathematics education, called “How to Learn Math”. Its purpose was to educate teachers and parents about a new way of teaching math in order to help students overcome their fear of math while improving their academic performance. Over 40,000 teachers and parents participated, with about 25,000 completing the full 2-to-16-hour course. At the end of course, 95% of survey respondents indicated that they would modify their ways of teaching math. Boaler also provides consultation to other Silicon Valley digital educational institutions, such as Novo-ed, Inner Tube Games, and Udacity. In addition, she teaches workshops on teaching for a growth mindset, drawing upon the work of Carol Dweck, author and developer of the theory of growth mindset.

## Research

During the early part of Boaler’s career, she conducted longitudinal studies of students learning mathematics through different approaches. Her first three-year study in England was published as "Experiencing School Mathematics: Teaching Styles, Sex, and Setting." The book was later released for an American audience entitled "Experiencing School Mathematics: Traditional and Reform Approaches to Teaching and their Impact on Student Learning" (2002). In 2000, she was awarded a presidential Early Career Award from the National Science Foundation. This funded a four-year study of students learning mathematics through different approaches in three US high schools. Both of these studies found that students who were actively engaged in mathematics learning using problem solving and reasoning about methods achieved at higher levels and enjoyed math more than those who engaged passively by practicing methods that a teacher had demonstrated In addition to focusing on inquiry-based learning (also called enquiry-based learning), Boaler’s work has also focused on gender equity and mathematics. In addition, Boaler’s research has highlighted the problems associated with ability grouping in England and the US. More recently, Boaler has published research showing the links between timed testing and math anxiety. Currently, Boaler is conducting research on mathematics, mistakes, and growth mindset with Stanford University professors Carol Dweck and Greg Walton.

## Controversy

In 2006, mathematician R. James Milgram (Stanford University) accused Boaler of scientific misconduct, which prompted Stanford University to investigate claims challenging the validity of her research. However, Stanford University declined to move forward with the investigation, stating that the allegations "do not have substance”. Milgram, fellow mathematician Wayne Bishop (California State University) and statistician Paul Clopton posted a 44-page online paper outlining their complaints about one particular study. The story was circulated widely on social media and picked up by the national press. Boaler issued a response in 2012. Her statements were also addressed by Bishop and Milgram.

## Awards and honors

1997 Best PhD in Education, 1997, British Educational Research Association, United Kingdom 1998 Elected Fellow Royal Society of Arts Royal Society of Arts 1998 Outstanding Book of the Year Award in Education, Standing Conference for Studies in Education. 2000–2005 Presidential Early Career Award, National Science Foundation 2000 – 2004 President: International Organisation of Women and Mathematics Education (IOWME) 2004 Fellow: Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences 2007 Chair of Excellence: The Marie Curie Foundation 2010 Invited Lecture The Royal Society 2014 NCSM Equity Award 2016 California Math Council Leadership Award

## Publications

Books:

Journal articles:

*Forum*.

**55**.

*Journal of Urban Mathematics Education*.

**4**(1).

*Educational Researcher*.

**37**(9): 588–594. doi:10.3102/0013189x08327998.

*British Educational Research Journal*.

**34**(2): 167–194. doi:10.1080/01411920701532145.

*Teachers' College Record*.

**110**(3): 608–645.

*Theory into Practice*.

**45**(1): 40–46. doi:10.1207/s15430421tip4501_6.

*Phi Delta Kappan*.

**87**: 5.

*FORUM*.

**47**(2&3): 135–144.

*Phi Delta Kappan*.

**84**(7): 502–506. doi:10.1177/003172170308400706.

*Educational Studies in Mathematics*.

**51**(1–2): 3–21. doi:10.1023/a:1022468022549.

*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education*.

**33**(4): 239–258. doi:10.2307/749740.

*Mathematical Thinking and Learning*4(2&3), 127–144.

*For the Learning of Mathematics*.

**22**(1): 42–47.

*Teaching Mathematics and its Applications*.

**20**(3): 121–127. doi:10.1093/teamat/20.3.121.

*British Educational Research Journal*.

**26**(5): 631–648. doi:10.1080/713651583.

*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education*.

**39**(1): 113–119.

*Journal of Mathematical Behavior*.

**18**(4): 1–19.

*Educational Studies in Mathematics*.

**40**: 259–281. doi:10.1023/a:1003880012282.

*Journal for Research in Mathematics Education*.

**29**(1): 41–62. doi:10.2307/749717.

*Journal of Inclusive Education*.

**2**: 2.

*Evaluation and Program Planning*.

**21**: 129–141. doi:10.1016/s0149-7189(98)00002-0.

*Mathematics Education Research Journal*.

**9**(3): 325–342. doi:10.1007/bf03217322.

*British Educational Research Journal*.

**23**(5): 575–595. doi:10.1080/0141192970230503.

*Gender and Education*.

**9**(3): 285–306. doi:10.1080/09540259721268.

*Journal of Curriculum Studies*.

**29**(2): 165–182. doi:10.1080/002202797184116.

*British Educational Research Journal*.

**20**(5): 551–564. doi:10.1080/0141192940200504.

*Educational Studies in Mathematics*.

**25**: 341–373. doi:10.1007/bf01273906.

*For the learning of Mathematics*.

**13**(2): 12–17.